Thursday, 6 December 2012

Service With Justice

Or, indeed, Quo Fata Vocant.

Ian Lavery, whom I always thought ought to have retained the Presidency of the NUM while sitting as an MP and eventually serving as a Minister, has this day been removed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Harriet Harman.

His crime of infantile ultra-Leftism? To have tabled amendments enabling Prison Officers to retire at 65, like Police Officers and members of the Fire Brigade.

Within weeks of the next General Election, Harriet Harman will be 65.


  1. They can't be having the convener of the parliamentary Morning Star Readers and Supporters Group on the cusp of office, can they?

    Did you know Jonathan Ashworth when he was at Durham? He recently exposed the fact that all Whitehall departments boycott the Morning Star, even the ones that take the Daily Star.

  2. I certainly did. We used to have great fun over how right-wing he was.

    He might have shifted, how to get on in the Labour Party might have shifted, or some combination of the two. But in any of those events, of which the third strikes me as by far the most likely, all to the good.

    The famous EDM 1334 was just before he got in, so his name did not appear on it. It was hardly a Hard Left closed shop: Pat Glass, Ian Davidson, both the Chairman (Joe Benton) and the Secretary (Jim Dobbin) of the All-Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group, Frank Field, Kate Hoey, Graham Stringer, Sir Gerald Kaufman, the late Sir Stuart Bell, and members of five parties other than Labour.

    Alas, not six. There are still a few stalwarts on the Tory benches from the days when the Morning Star was a lone voice against the bombing of Kosovo and they were making the same case on the floor of the House. One of them could have signed, at least. Margaret Thatcher was an avid reader of it, although that would not commend it to several of them.

    As a friend of mine who works in the office of a diehard paleocon MP puts it, "It is so wonderfully nostalgic, reading the Morning Star." Like unions and co-ops, like railways and regiments, like God's Own University of Durham in all her God's Own University of Durham-ness, the Morning Star, like Tribune, is part of True Britain, not New Britain.

    Mind you, said friend also tells me that I "break the two Golden Rules of Blogging, Never Mention The Gays and Never Mention The Jews."

  3. Alan Clark would have signed EDM 1334 if he had still been there. He would have been 84 but he would not have repeated that retirement mistake. Sir Peter Tapsell really should have signed it, it would have tied in not only with much of his record but also with his sponsorship of the newly re-elected George Galloway.

  4. Its a stupid decision but I gather its because front benchers and PPS's aren't supposed to sign EDM's unless they are specifically aligned with front bench policy?

  5. And this is not front bench policy because...?